Mr Laurie Smith
Visiting Lecturer and Research Associate in Education
Laurie worked in London schools full-time for 22 years as an English teacher, Head of English and Deputy Head. In 1993 he joined teacher education at King’s where he was subsequently appointed coordinator of the Area Professional Tutoring programme and Deputy Director of the Professional Studies programme, both on the PGCE course.
From 1993 to 2002 Laurie was one of four national Chief Markers for the KS3 National Curriculum English test. Following the division of marking between Reading/Shakespeare and Writing in 2004, he was a Senior Marker for the Reading and Shakespeare papers until the test was abolished in October 2008. The experience of leading National Curriculum test marking made him aware of the National Strategy’s strength in raising basic skills and its weakness in inspiring higher-level thinking and creativity.
In 2009 Laurie was asked to initiate Cognitive Acceleration (CA) in English following the highly successful CA programmes at King’s in Science (CASE) and Mathematics (CAME). This has led to the development and trialling of new materials and the establishment of networks of schools for KS3 English and more recently for KS2. Some 300 schools are now following the programme which has been renamed Let’s Think in English (as also Let’s Think in Maths and Let’s Think in Science).
To keep in touch with changing expectations of teaching, Laurie taught English part-time at a boys' comprehensive school in Central London from 1993 to 2009, then taught weekly Let's Think in English (LTE) lessons in schools in Lambeth and Sutton until 2012. The demands of the LTE programme now make it impractical to teach regularly in a school, but Laurie and his colleagues always ask to teach a demonstration LTE lesson when training new schools in LTE, observed by the staff. This helps to clarify the LTE process well.